Difference between revisions of "Talk:1501: Mysteries"

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This is one of the weirdest mysteries I've come across. I'd be surprised if Randall hasn't heard of it, though. See [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taman_Shud_Case Wikipedia]. [[User:Mark314159|Mark314159]] ([[User talk:Mark314159|talk]]) 01:22, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
This is one of the weirdest mysteries I've come across. I'd be surprised if Randall hasn't heard of it, though. See [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taman_Shud_Case Wikipedia]. [[User:Mark314159|Mark314159]] ([[User talk:Mark314159|talk]]) 01:22, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
; z axis
Too bad that comics can't be 3D (or at least not convincingly) since an axis
"Time you wasted on googling around on topic X after reading the comic" would
be very interesting...I browsed on Songfacts more than all else combined -
talk about priorities :-) [[Special:Contributions/|]] 16:13, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Revision as of 16:13, 26 March 2015

Here's a list of wikipedia links I compiled that will be useful for anyone wanting to update this page. http://www.reddit.com/r/xkcd/comments/2zog5d/xkcd_1501_mysteries/cpktray ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

And I've got a solar eclipse to see (explainable, but weird!) but I started to compile things. Haven't got any links sorted yet, and percentages are (badly) done by eye. If someone does it better, ignore it. 09:33, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

(Whoops, pasted the flatfile format version by accident, in my rush, rather than the more Wikifriendly one that I discarded. Commenting it out until/unless I redo it. But you should still be able to see the details via the Talk Edit pages if you're bothered. Oh, and there was really too much cloud to see the eclipse for what it was. 10:29, 20 March 2015 (UTC))
I dropped the image into our CAD system and plotted the point co-ordinates. I've filled in the resulting percentages, which should be somewhere about right with a little rounding. --Pudder (talk) 10:35, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Exactly right. (Although I didn't read the zero/zero crossing point is supposed to be maybe 50% on both scales, but instead ±zero. Still, doesn't matter. And perhaps displays/sorts better.) And looks like I don't need to recover my formatted notes after all. 11:19, 20 March 2015 (UTC) 09:49, 20 March 2015 (UTC) XKCD has explained the Voynich Manuscript before: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/593:_Voynich_Manuscript

XKCD has also 'explained' DB Cooper before (1400: D.B. Cooper) if that is worth mentioning. 12:06, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

I have to wonder if Randall has ever seen http://keithledgerwood.com/post/79838944823/did-malaysian-airlines-370-disappear-using and if so, whether he simply doesn't believe it. Not to sabotage his 100%-100% example if he wants to keep it there, but I'd put it at only 50% weird and 10% unexplainable. 14:02, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Oh lawdy, the tinfoil hat brigade has arrived.

Anyone else reminded of Fuck Grapefruit? 00:19, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Carly Simon

The Carly Simon explanation includes the text "This sets up a paradox in which the song is and isn't about the vain person." This isn't correct. The song is definitely about the person. Carly is thus asserting that the subject's vanity will lead him to a correct interpretation of the song. Going to change the explanation. EverVigilant (talk) 14:51, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't see why this is on Randall's chart. The Wikipedia article is all the explanation the world needs. And Warren Beatty's reaction to the song simply seals it for me. No Big Deal. Move On. tbc (talk) 18:41, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

WOW signal

It now says "This is the strongest evidence to date of extraterrestrial radio signals.", which is technically incorrect. We observe radio signals from outer space all the time, they originate from young stars, Big Bang, active galaxies, and so on. This should probably be rephrased to something about extraterrestrial intelligence, but I'm not sure if it deserves to be called "evidence". Jolindbe (talk) 16:18, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the "evidence" bit, I'd go so far as to say that it's a single signal that can't actually be tied down (even in the light of further study) to: a) receiver error/interference; b) terrestrial(/orbital) origin; c) natural universal processes. (In the latter case, especially, c.f. Pulsars, which were tentatively blamed on "Little Green Men" at first, but are now understood for what they are.) Maybe if we'd have had some more WOWs (or longer to listen to the one that we had) we could have analysed it, but it remains a mystery because neither is true. Pretty much everything else has been explained as "not evidence for aliens" (definitively, or on the balance of probability there's a better working theory that it's not) leaving this as... an anomoly. Not 'evidence', but not explained, either. For now! 20:45, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Jolindbe. Extraterrestrial only means "not of terrestrial origin," which applies to all natural radio sources, as well as extraterrestrial intelligence. It's too broad a phrase to be used in this way. A better description might be "This radio signal is the strongest candidate to date as evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence." 14:25, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Dyatlov Pass Incident

Um, Wikipedia regards avalanche as most plausible explanation of the Dyatlov Pass incident, and it appears to be most widespread and down-to-earth explanation that doesn't involve the supernatural or secret soviet weapons test, things like that. Shouldn't we include mention of the avalance then, perhaps? I mean, with such high "explainability" rating it's pretty clear that Randall probably assumes avalanche, since if he assumed other, less widespread theory he probably would downgrade the "explainability" to account for the fact that it's more disputed version. 18:13, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

The Key points of the accident were: hypothermia, fatal injuries from strong force, tent that ripped from within, traces of wandering, weird tan, lost tongue, lack of clothing. The most scientific and easiest explanation I know was: Avalanche that accounts for fatal injuries; Snow glare that accounts for weird tan; paradoxical undressing and hypothermia that accounts for lack of clothing and signs of wandering; and Scavenging animals that accounts for the lost tongue and ripped tent. Kagakujinjya (talk) 02:54, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Actually Wikipedia really seems to suggest secret USSR military tests both parachute mines and nuclear missile related. Beyond being between two test facilities, the soviet conspiracy would imply secret operations, if it were just an avalanche, the USSR wouldn't have covered details up. It's not that extreme to believe the USSR did some secret testing, because it's more or less fact. Therefore, the idea secret testing was involved isn't *that* strange or unreasonable. Occam's Razor, given the difficulty for some of those things, like the tent being torn from the inside out, or the tan. Also ball lightning is worth mentioning in your quest for not Secret Soviet test or supernatural in nature. 04:53, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Though I can't say anything about supernatural nature of the incident because I don't have proof,(well, I don't have any proof at all because the incident was happened in 1959) I think I can give you an argument about the weapon test and the cover up. Occam's Razor. I mean, weapon test normally done in secured military area, not out in public area. All the more reason if you want to test a secret weapon. Basically, there's no point of doing weapon test there. Furthermore, 1959 was a time when government very sensitive about data, I'd say that they would even declare the recipe of a pie as a national secret. And since we probably read the same source that is Wikipedia, I don't know where they suggest the weapon test theory since the first sentence under the subtitle 'theories' unambiguously say that "avalanche damage is considered one of the more plausible explanation for this incident". Then, about the ball of lightning and (if I may) radioactivity, since I'm pretty sure that none of that stuff turns up in the original documents from the incident, I'll argue that those were added later by people who just can't resist making things spookier than the incident actually are. Kagakujinjya (talk) 06:53, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Off the chart up and to the right

How the Universe came into existence (the physics and math behind "Why is there something rather than nothing?") is far weirder with less of an explanation than anything on Randall's chart – scientists' claims, which redefine "nothing," notwithstanding. And then how life started and evolved (the chemistry and biology – and quantum physics? – at the transition point between inanimate amino acids and cells and the subsequent arrival of homo sapiens) is almost as strange as the Big Bang. tbc (talk) 18:34, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Yep. And how to make a star. And how to make a planet. 11:19, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Hydrogen + Time 14:28, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Plus... magic? 05:22, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Inaccurate explainability rating

I've read the Russian wikipedia article on Dyatlov Pass Incident and not only it's incredibly weird (much more details than condensed English article), but also no plausible explanation is provided that would account for all the incredibly weird stuff going on. I have no idea how that could be awarded 96% explainability.

UVB-76, on the other hand, is a pretty easy to explain as one-time-pad encrypted military broadcast, with buzzing to occupy the frequency and discourage others from using it. How is that just 23% explainable, I have no idea. That's what I've found in Russian sources, anyway.

Also, the Toynbee Tiles mystery is pretty much solved if you trust "Duerr, Justin. Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles" as a source.

There are even more inconsistencies pointed out above. At first I've suspected that the scale is accidentally inverted, but D.B. Cooper story is pretty poorly explained, so it's more like the whole thing is just randomly messed up. --Shnatsel (talk) 19:54, 20 March 2015 (UTC)


Is it seriously that hard to explain the "UVB-76" thing? I've been listening to this thing for a year now and even have explained how it works from the innards a few months back. Besides, it's not even called UVB-76, it was a mishear of UZB-76, and it's not even that callsign anymore. The callsign has changed to MDZhB and it is a marker to occupy the frequency of the "Codename Vulkan" communications channel. The way this thing works is that it is a bunch of gears that control a buzzer, when the Buzzer goes down you can hear it winding down and the repairmen screwing in some things when they come in. 20:49, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

The Obvious: one of at least three such stations used by the Russian military(see also the pip and the squeaky wheel) The less obvious: the purpose being either secret communication, time synchronization, measuring ionosphere changes, emergency Russian military mobilization with a dead man's switch style of constant commmunication to keep the frequency clear of other users as well as in case Moscow (or in this case Pskov [crazy side note: sister city of Roanoke, Virginia]), or something else Unclear: other things about it 05:16, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Lost Colony

Before the Roanoke colonists left, they carved "Croatan" into a post. The Croatan were a small native tribe living on the coast, who'd had friendly relations with the colonists. They disappeared along with them. A generation or two later, a completely new tribe called the Lumbee were found living further inland, with some caucasian features and using European farming techniques. It's pretty obvious what happened. Shanek (talk) 19:20, 21 March 2015 (UTC)


I had no idea that *nothing* of MH370 was ever found (or at least so far). Reading up on the wikipedia article makes me even more confused: this map shows the plane going westward basically towards india but then this map shows the searches *west of Australia* and going *down to Antartica*! WTF?? What the hell happened to that plane?! It's now been a *year* and *nothing* was found at all. Totally weird and unexplained. --Anarcat (talk) 23:50, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

... and here's the explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_search_for_MH370.png. Still freaking mind-boggling if you ask me. That thing could as well be in Khazakstan for all we know. Terrifying. --Anarcat (talk) 00:02, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
sort order

The arrangement of entries in the table seemed random to me. I moved them around so the weirdest entries are at the beginning and the most easily explained are at the end. Thus the joke entry is last, as a punch line. Pesthouse (talk) 01:18, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

The Taman Shud Case

This is one of the weirdest mysteries I've come across. I'd be surprised if Randall hasn't heard of it, though. See Wikipedia. Mark314159 (talk) 01:22, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

z axis

Too bad that comics can't be 3D (or at least not convincingly) since an axis "Time you wasted on googling around on topic X after reading the comic" would be very interesting...I browsed on Songfacts more than all else combined - talk about priorities :-) 16:13, 26 March 2015 (UTC)